Question: Can anyone tell me what you do: If your British driving license runs out while you are living in Crete? As the new plastic ones we now have, have to be renewed every 10 years.
Brits in Crete Member Response : You need to check this with the DVLA, but I am almost sure they will tell you you have to apply for a new one in the country where you are now resident, i.e. Greece. Getting a Greek driving licence is a boring lengthy procedure but not that difficult. Your local KEP will guide you through it, tell you what documents you need, etc. Be prepared to it to take a while, and to involve umpteen trips to different offices, and you'll get there eventually. Kalo taxidi!
Brits in Crete Member Response: Go to www.ec.europa.eu/transport/home/drivinglicence/faq for all the information for driving license renewal.
Brits in Crete Member Response: Whatever address is on your licence your new photo licence will go there if its still your old address apply for new photo licence and change of address to a freind or relative in uk who can pass it on, not strictly cosha (Kosher) but you have to play the system as it plays you. All the DVLA and pi--/ sorry police want is somewhere to send there revenue collecting fines to, by the the way they charge you £17.50 revenue/fee for this, we have just been through all this with DVLA through to inland rev ect ect as we are moving out to crete in a couple of weeks dont let the bar stewards grind you down cos they nearly have me.
Brits in Crete Member Response: This is not a good idea, think you must be joking - when you leave the UK you have to inform all the various authorities and when you arrive here you must do the same. Have seen quite a few people here try to "cut corners" it just doesn't work and will cost you double in the long run. Either you come here to live the dream and to enjoy your life, or you keep a foot hold in the UK, you cannot do both,or if you do you must do it "by the book" to avoid future problems.
Brits in Crete Member Response: Trouble is as with the UK "book", many pages are missing!!!!!
Brits in Crete Member Response: And there isn't a book here, so you don't stand a chance. It's like "lambs (or goats) to the slaughter."
Brits in Crete Member Response: We had the same problem. The advice from the DVLA was to register the licence with a relative (or possibly a friend) who still lives in the UK. You can use your UK driving licence in Greece to buy or hire a car. It is therefore not restrictive here to continue with your UK licence. Correct me if I am wrong, but you can get a Greek lisence if you take your tests etc., again. But you have to be able to read and understand spoken Greek. The Greek's maximum age for driving is 65. The UK is 75.
Brits in Crete Member Response: No, you do not have to take test just renew your licence here. (I) have searched the net for maximum age in Greece but there is no information. Some sites say that some (Greece) hire car companies have a limit of 70 years. There are many drivers in this area well into their eighties.
Brits in Crete Member Response: Responding to Quote: "The advice from the DVLA was to register the licence with a relative (or possibly a friend) who still lives in the UK."
I'm sorry but I simply don't believe that. You either live here (Crete) or you don't. Faking and pretending in order to get an advantage is not something grown-up responsible people should do. It makes me angry when residents who don't qualify for an IKA book, and in search of medical treatment, are advised (nudge, nudge; wink, wink,) to show their health card and pretend to be tourists. Often the same people giving that advice are the ones who have a lot to say about immigrants to the UK abusing the system. Rant over,back to cars. I see that the KEP website has been 'improved' and the info about driving licences, in English, is no longer immediately available. However you can get a lot of information from the Ministry of Transport (Greece) site (look on the left hand side of it). And as I said, don't be daunted by the list of documents. http://www.yme.gr/index.php?getwhat=1&oid=531&id=&tid=531
Brits in Crete Member Response: You need a translation of your existing driving licence, tell me what is there to translate on a UK card licence apart from your name? The licence you will be issued with is only a "simple" car licence. If you want to retain all of the other classes of vehicle you must pay extra and for some classes quite a lot extra. In addition some classes are just not available in Greece, what happens when you are in the UK and driving a class of vehicle which you are no longer entitled to drive? No, I think retaining a UK licence, which both the UK government and the Greek government seem perfectly happy with is the best option, at least until the proposed unified EU licence becomes available.
Brits in Crete Member Response: The licence you will be issued with is only a "simple" car licence. If you want to retain all of the other classes of vehicle you must pay extra and for some classes quite a lot extra. In addition some classes are just not available in Greece, what happens when you are in the UK and driving a class of vehicle which you are no longer entitled to drive? No, I think retaining a UK licence, which both the UK government and the Greek government seem perfectly happy with, is the best option, at least until the proposed unified EU licence becomes available.
Brits in Crete Member Response: Our (British) licences are still at my mums address in England. I have all classes on my UK licence and i have been told it will cost about 4000 euro's to convert just my hgv one to a Greek licence. So I am going to wait till 2011 when it expires by then i hope there will be some other option.
Brits in Crete Member Response: (Regarding a licence) ... My son was born here and I had all the medical books and insurances covered. The hospital had no interest whatsoever in my local medical book or other insurance. They would only treat me if I had my European Health Card. I ran around at 6 months pregnant trying to get legal only to find I didn't need to put myself through the stress of going to this IKA office and that IKA office to be told I can't have this or I couldn't have that. In the end I was fobbed off with an old health book that was out of date and which the IKA office would't change as they said it was useable but the hospital said I needed a new one. All I needed for the sake of driving 15 km 3 times was the small card already in my purse. It is also next to impossible to get your Greek driving licence here - because I cannot read Greek to be able to take the test. Does anyone have a solution on how I can start to read Greek within the next 25 years - by which time my licence will probably run out or i'll be dead or a pauper trying to afford the heavy costs of doing so.
Brits in Crete Member Response: Referring to earlier QUOTE: "Even the DLVA said don't bother changing your details on your UK license."
I also have a 5 year residency permit to make myself legal - the police, when I obtained this, had no interest whasoever in my personal circumstances, didn't want proof of anything - only a quick question : you can support yourself here, yes? Can you afford to get your picture taken across the road and bring it back to me within the next hour? That was that: Residency Permit issued. They did not even want to issue the residency permit initially until we had to insist on one so that we could purchase our car from a garage as the owner was a 'mayor' in a village and insisted on us having the correct papers. So I agree that if you want to live in another country such as this (Greece) you should try to get as legal as possible - but the reality of doing so is simply not that simple.
Brits in Crete Member Response: ..... "to change your driving licence to a Greek one". The cost it says (on the Greek Ministry of Transport website, www.yme.gr) is 108 euros and takes a few days to be processed.
Brits in Crete Member Response: Thanks .. it just appears to be so much hard work to get anywhere with anything (in Crete) . I'm sure I'm not alone in that!
The above are the extracts from the Brits in Crete Forum on the subject of Driving licenses in Greece and how the Brit Ex-pat residents sort out the practical reality of Living on Crete and dealing with the bureaucracy. It is necessary to have a car to help settle in and get around, unless you live in Heraklion, Chania or Rethymnon which each have a good local bus route network.
To know K.E.P. - the Greek equivalent of the Citizens Advice Bureaus run by the Municipalities and the Ministry of the Interior. - English website http://www.kep.gov.gr
What the Greek Ministry in charge of Driving Licences says about Issuing of a replacement copy of a driving licence issued by Greece or another EU Member State in case of loss, theft, wear or damage. (web page is ready for print out)
Continue to another page about Crete.